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World’s insatiable appetite for batteries sparks multi billion pound lithium mining boom in Australia! Via abcnews

Growing demand for batteries for electric cars and power storage is driving increased investment in lithium mining in Western Australia. WA is currently supplying more than 40 per cent of the world’s lithium and a new mine in the Pilbara is the latest in a string of investments in the industry. The West Australian Government is now encouraging industry to build a battery factory in the state to capitalise on the boom.

Volkswagen to spend $50 billion on electric car ‘offensive’ – via Mining.com – Cadence Minerals (KDNC)

German automaker Volkswagen said Friday it will spend tens of billions of dollars refocusing the company on the making of electric cars, autonomous vehicles and new mobility services.

The Wolfsburg-based manufacturer, which plans to have some of the new offering in the market by 2023, said the 44-billion euro ($50 billion) investment in what CEO Herbert Diess describes as an “electric offensive,” includes an imminent partnership with US carmaker Ford Motor.

Both companies are fine-tuning details on a deal to jointly make a range of light commercial vehicles, and Dess hopes the agreement will be ready before the end of the year.

Collaboration between the two firms is viewed as a path to significant savings on research and development, while at the same time delivering big revenue.

Ford makes about 40% of all full-size pickups sold in the US, while VW sells almost 15% of the vehicles purchased in China, the world’s largest auto market.

“Volkswagen must become more efficient, more productive and more profitable in order to finance the high expenditure in the future and in order to stay competitive,” Diess said during the press conference.

He noted that Volkswagen was also “seriously considering involvement in battery production.”

One million e-cars

VW has been actively promoting the electric push by creating global production capacities for the construction of 1 million electric cars. On Wednesday, it announced it was converting three of its plants in Germany to build electric cars, ramping up production of zero-local emission cars ahead of tougher European emissions standards.

The company said it would begin local production of electric-powered vehicles at its facilities in Emden and Hannover in 2022, adding that a plant in Zwickau has already been designated for e-car production.

Recent studies show carmakers will need to add electric cars to their sales lineups to meet the new European Union rules on greenhouse gas emissions from 2021. They also highlight how German carmakers need to rethink their business as the growing adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is expected to cost the country’s key auto industry about 75,000 jobs by 2030, according to a report carried out by the Fraunhofer Institute of Industrial Engineering.

Those figures, the institute said,  were calculated on the assumption that by 2030, a quarter of all vehicles on Germany’s roads will be fully electric. Another 15% is expected to be hybrids, which combine an electric motor with a traditional internal combustion engine, and 60% of the cars will be powered by gasoline or diesel engines that are more fuel-efficient than today.

A more rapid adoption of electric vehicles could threaten up to 100,000 jobs, the study warned, adding that regardless of the final number, there will be suppliers that simply won’t be able to adapt their business model, especially among small- and medium-sized companies.

While relatively slow to catch onto the ongoing EV boom, German carmakers have stepped up their efforts in the wake of VW’s 2015 “diesel gate” emissions cheating scandal, which tainted the reputation of diesel cars and spurred a push towards more environmentally friendly engines.

BMW recently said raw materials needed for car batteries will grow 10-fold by 2025, adding it has been surprised by “just how quickly demand will accelerate”. BMW plans to offer 25 electrified vehicles by 2025 and, like many of its peers, it prefers nickel-manganese-cobalt batteries or NMC. EV pioneer Tesla’s favoured battery technology –nickel-cobalt-aluminum or NCA – already uses less than 3% cobalt.

Battery Energy Storage Is A $1 Trillion Opportunity As Costs Continue To Crash – Forbes

Companies such as Sweden’s Box of Energy, which recycles lithium-ion car and bus batteries for use in energy storage, is among the companies likely to profit from the growth of the sector. Photographer: Mikael Sjoberg/Bloomberg

Article by Mike Scott, Forbes

Large-scale energy storage used to be part of the future of energy. But it’s here now, and it’s going to become increasingly important in the years to come.

Clean energy researchers at Bloomberg NEF (BNEF) find that more than $1 trillion will be invested in the sector between now and 2040. The group’s latest Long-Term Energy Storage Outlook says that the “tumbling costs of utility-scale lithium-ion battery storage systems will transform the economic case for batteries in both the vehicle and the electricity sector”, predicting that prices will fall by 52% between 2018 and 2030, adding to the steep declines already experienced this decade.

This will lead to $1.2 trillion of investment flowing to the sector in the next 22 years, creating a cumulative capacity of 942GW, BNEF said. In the near term, the market will be dominated by South Korea and the US, but China will be the driving force from the 2020s onward.

Energy storage is key to helping governments decarbonize their economies by using more renewable energy because the dominant sources, wind and solar, are intermittent and do not provide constant power. “ Cheap batteries mean that wind and solar will increasingly be able to run when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining ,” the report says.

 Yayoi Sekine, energy storage analyst for BNEF and co-author of the report, said: “We have become much more bullish about storage deployments since our last forecast a year ago. This is partly due to faster-than-expected falls in storage system costs, and partly to a greater focus on two emerging applications for the technology – electric vehicle charging, and energy access in remote regions.”

Logan Goldie-Scot, head of energy storage at BNEF, added: “We see energy storage growing to a point where it is equivalent to 7% of the total installed power capacity globally in 2040. The majority of storage capacity will be utility-scale until the mid-2030s, when behind the meter applications overtake.”

Behind-the-meter, or BTM, applications will be installed in business and industrial premises, and in millions of homes. For their owners, they will perform a variety of tasks, including shifting grid demand in order to reduce electricity costs, storing excess rooftop solar output, improving power quality and reliability, and earning fees for helping to smooth voltage on the grid.

Two thirds of installed capacity in 2040 will be in just nine markets – China, the US, India, Japan, Germany, France, Australia, South Korea and the UK, the Outlook says. However, there will also be rapid growth in other markets, especially emerging markets in Africa. Utilities are likely to “recognize increasingly that isolated assets combining solar, diesel and batteries are cheaper in far flung sites than either an extension of the main grid or a fossil-only generator,” the report says.

Energy storage can play a number of roles in the electricity system, helping to balance variable supply and demand, helping the grid operate more efficiently and allowing individual customers to cut their bills by cutting peak-time use . Eventually, it may be possible to aggregate lots of behind-the-meter projects to provide a viable alternative to utility-scale for many applications but it will take years before regulatory frameworks in some countries fully allow this, BNEF says.

Nonetheless, energy storage will become a practical alternative to new-build generation or network reinforcement, the analysts say.

But even with this rapid growth in the market, BNEF says that stationary storage sector will make up only 7% of total battery demand in 2040. “It will be dwarfed by the electrical vehicle market, which will more materially impact the supply-demand balance and prices for metals such as lithium and cobalt,” the Outlook concludes.

Oil price rally boosts electric car sales – Via Oilprice.com

Article by OilPrice.com

Tesla’s competition is about to get more crowded next year with many legacy automakers and luxury brands launching a record number of battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.

All EV makers will have one common element that could help lift demand for battery vehicles—rising oil prices leading to fuel prices at four-year highs, which could turn consumers towards EVs.

To be sure, charging infrastructure and range are still key concerns in consumers’ minds regarding EVs, but utilities and major oil firms such as Shell and BP are already looking to expand the charging infrastructure, especially in Europe.

Battery pack prices have been dropping constantly this decade and are expected to continue to fall. In terms of cost comparison, some estimates point to battery pack costs becoming competitive with the internal combustion engine (ICE) cars by 2027.

Rallying oil prices, with Brent Crude topping $85 a barrel this week, come just as the number of global offerings of EVs next year is expected to rise by 20 percent to 216 models, research by Bloomberg NEF shows.

“The higher the price of oil the more tailwind we’re going to have behind electric cars,” Bloomberg quoted Carlos Ghosn, chairman of Renault and Nissan Motor, as saying at the Paris Motor Show this week.

Next year, Nissan will launch the sale of a longer-range model of its best-selling EV Leaf.

German carmakers are also jumping into the EV competition.

Mercedes-Benz unveiled last month its first all-electric model Mercedes-Benz EQC, which will be launched on the market in 2019. BMW is teasing the premiere of a new concept EV, BMW Vision iNEXT. Audi has started mass production of the Audi e-tron, the brand’s first all-electric SUV, and deliveries are scheduled to begin in the spring of 2019.

Ultra-luxury brands will also be offering electric vehicles. Aston Martin is building Rapide E with a target range of over 200 miles and projected top speed of 155 mph, with customer deliveries set for Q4 2019. Porsche is working on its first purely electric series, Taycan, and plans to invest more than US$6.9 billion (6 billion euro) in electromobility by 2022, doubling its initially planned expenditure.

While almost every carmaker out there is unveiling or planning EV models, gasoline prices are up and even after the end of the U.S. driving season, the national gas price average as of October 1 was $2.88 – a pump price not seen since mid-July.

“The last quarter of the year has kicked off with gas prices that feel more like summer than fall,” AAA spokesperson Jeanette Casselano said.

“This time of year, motorists are accustomed to seeing prices drop steadily, but due to continued global supply and demand concerns as well as very expensive summertime crude oil prices, motorists are not seeing relief at the pump.”

High fuel prices could be part of consumers’ motivation to buy more EVs.

Global cumulative EV sales are already 4 million, according to Bloomberg NEF, which notes that the time for reaching each of the million sales has been rapidly shrinking. The first million in sales, reached in Q4 2015, took around 60 months to achieve; the second million came in 17 months; the third million took 10 months; and the fourth million needed just six months. Bloomberg NEF expects the next million EVs to take just over 6 months and the five-millionth EV to be sold in March next year.

The EV share of the global car fleet is still minuscule, considering that the world’s stock of cars is 1.2 billion units. But battery costs and range are less and less the stumbling blocks in EV adoption, according to Wood Mackenzie. Battery is one third of the cost of an EV today. Yet, costs have already declined by 80 percent this decade and will fall further. Battery pack prices will drop below US$200/kWh this year and then fall by around 10 percent each year, WoodMac said in July.

“The critical threshold is US$100/kWh – that’s when EVs will compete on commercial terms with ICE vehicles. We think we’ll get there by 2027,” WoodMac says.

EVs will displace around 5 million bpd to 6 million bpd of oil demand by 2040—some 5 percent of total oil demand, the consultancy has estimated.

ICE cars are not going anywhere in the next decade or two, but the higher the price of oil, the more competition they’ll have from EVs and the more incentives consumers will get to pick an EV for their next new car.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

Stockhead – Next year will be huge for electric car launches as Europeans race to catch up – Cadence Minerals (KDNC)

Next year will mark the start of a huge EV ramp-up for the world’s biggest carmakers — and that’s expected to have a serious impact on  demand for key battery metals such as lithium, cobalt, manganese, HPA and nickel.

Euro car-makers have a lot of ground to make up on EV leaders Tesla, Nissan and Chinese manufacturers – who continue to break production and sales records every month.

Tesla sold an estimated 22,250 Model 3s in September in the US alone according to this report — the highest ever for sales of a single plug-in electric car in a month, and the first time an EV has beaten 20,000 sales a month in the US market.

French-owned PSA Group — which sells the Peugeot, Citreon, DS, Opel and Vauxhall brands —   is undergoing an self-described “electrification blitz” from next year, as it aims for 100 per cent EV core models by 2025.

This is a company that made net profit of about $2.4 billion on car sale revenues of $50 billion in the first half of 2018.

Its Peugeot and Citreon brands showed off fully EV and hybrid versions of its popular models — due for rollout next year — at the Paris Motor Show last week.

It also unveiled its beautiful, fully electric concept Peugeot e-Legend car.

In response to a change.org petition to get the e-Legend into production, Peugeot boss Jean-Phillipe Imparato says:

Germany’s Volkswagen Group estimates it will sell 3 million EVs in 2025.

Of that, its I.D. models – which starts production next year – are expected to contribute 1 million of those sales.

Audi, also part of the Volkswagen Group has started production of its e-tron EV ahead of full production in 2019; it’s expected to produce about 20,000 a year.

And the first Mercedes-Benz vehicle under the fully electric EQ brand will be launched by mid-2019 – part of a range that is expected to expand to include 10 new models by 2022.

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